Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pleading with wealthy New Yorkers to return to the city, Yahoo News reports.
Cuomo said he is worried about New York’s economic recovery from coronavirus shutdowns. He expressed concerns that the city’s rich residents may not return from their second homes located outside the city during a recent press conference.
“They are in their Hamptons homes, or Hudson Valley or Connecticut. I talk to them literally every day. I say, ‘When are you coming back? I’ll buy you a drink. I’ll cook,’” Cuomo told MSNBC. “They’re not coming back right now. And you know what else they’re thinking, if I stay there, they pay a lower income tax because they don’t pay the New York City surcharge. So, that would be a bad place if we had to go there.”
Some lawmakers have proposed charging a wealth tax in order to fill a $30 billion budget gap caused by virus lockdowns.
Cuomo has said he will not support the tax. He said he would rather see the federal government and New York's congressional representatives send relief funds.
“A single percent of New York’s population pays half of the state’s taxes,” he said, “and they’re the most mobile people on the globe.”
According to Yahoo News, New York residents have settled down elsewhere ahead of the school year. Retailers report foot traffic is down in the city 85% from a year ago.
“We expected New York City to be like the rest of the country when we reopened our stores here, but it’s a complete outlier,” Lawrence Berger, chairman of sports cap company Lids, which has a flagship in Times Square, told Yahoo News. “There is no way to make money. It’s not an economically viable situation."
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